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Audley Harrison Former Olympic Gold Medallist And Former European Heavyweight Champion SIGNED Promotional Photo

Audley Harrison Former Olympic Gold Medallist And Former European Heavyweight Champion SIGNED Promotional Photo

Audley Harrison former Olympic gold medallist and former European heavyweight champion SIGNED large 8 1/4" x 5 3/4" promotional photo.

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Audley Harrison (born 26 October 1971) is British from Harlesden, England who fights in the heavyweight division.

At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney he became the first British fighter to win an Olympic gold medal in the superheavyweight division. He stands 6 ft 5½ in (1.97 m) and usually weighs around 255 lb (116 kg).

Harrison turned professional 2001 after signing a contract with BBC Sport. Harrison had 17 fights on the network before BBC Sport pulled all boxing from their programming.

In October 2009, he won the Prizefighter tournament. He became European heavyweight champion after knocking out Michael Sprott in April 2010.

Amateur Career
Boxing out of Repton Amateur Boxing Club in Bethnal Green, London, Harrison became British super heavyweight champion in 1997, defeating Nick Kendall in the final. He retained the title in 1998, defeating Dean Redmond, and won Gold at the 1998 Commonwealth Games beating Michael Macquae of Mauritius in the final. In 2000 he won Gold at the Sydney Olympics by defeating Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov of Kazakhstan on points.

Turning Professional
After his medal win, Harrison was awarded an MBE. In 2001, Harrison released his autobiography Realising the Dream and set up his own company, A Force Promotions, to manage his career and concluded several high profile sponsorships deals and became the first boxer in Britain to sign a direct broadcast deal.

He signed a £1 million deal with the BBC to show his first ten professional fights.

His debut was against US club fighter Michael Middleton, whom Harrison knocked out in the first round in Wembley Arena with 6 million viewers watching at home. He was then out of action for several months with a injury, but by the end of the year outpointed Briton Derek McCafferty over six rounds.

Harrison continued to win and made his United States debut in November 2002, knocking out Shawn Robinson in the 1st round. In February 2003 he beat US fighter Rob Calloway in four rounds, and outpointed Ratko Draskovic over eight rounds. Harrison then knocked out Matt Ellis in two rounds. Harrison then tried to arrange a fight with 41 year old ex-World champion Frank Bruno, who had been retired for seven years. A dispute at York Hall, Bethnal Green with the erratic Hide after the Ellis fight resulted in a riot. The proposed Frank Bruno fight collapsed shortly afterwards, when Bruno was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Harrison and Hide were both penalised by the British Boxing Board of Control for the riot.

America Bound
Following the Ellis riot, Harrison relocated to the USA where he was unbeaten in 11 fights, with 8 knockouts. In the 2003 November issue of the Ring Magazine, Harrison was tipped to emulate Lennox Lewis and become a dominant World champion.

He had three more fights in 2003, against tough Lisandro Diaz (KO4), Quinn Navarre (KO3), and Brian Nix (KO3), in America. Harrison was sparring regularly with experienced World class Heavyweights like Vaughn Bean.

Harrison returned to the UK in 2004, but instead of fighting new British champion Michael Sprott for the British title, he fought unbeaten Dutch fighter Richel Hersisia for the WBF World belt. He knocked out Hersisia in 4 rounds. He defended the title twice: a 12 round points win over late-sub Julius Francis, and a 9th round TKO of unbeaten Tomasz Bonin. After suffering a serious ligament tear in his left hand requiring hand surgery in New York, Harrison did not fight for almost a year.

BBC Deal Ends
When the BBC decided to take all boxing off their schedule permanently, Harrison's contract was not renewed.

Harrison insisted the decision had nothing to do with his boxing ability and more to do with race. A-Force Promotions was re launched in the USA and Harrison formed a partnership with Al Haymon.

America Adventure Continues
Harrison returned to the ring in June 2005. He knocked out Robert Davis (KO7) and Robert Wiggins (KO4). On The Best Damn Sports Show Period he said he was now ready to step up and face World class opponents and get a title shot.

Loss Of Form
Harrison returned to the UK in December to face long-time bitter rival Danny Williams in London for the Commonwealth title. Harrison stepped in after Matt Skelton had pulled out and took the bout on five weeks notice. Harrison lost a close, split decision.

In April 2006 Harrison fought in the US against Dominick Guinn and again lost on points. Harrison put the defeat down to loss of confidence from his defeat to Williams and insisted he would bounce back.

In June 2006 he scored a three round knockout of Andrew Greeley in an off-TV fight in America, and was poised for a fight with Matt Skelton to try to resurrect his career. Skelton had beaten Danny Williams in July, winning the title Williams had earlier taken from Harrison. When Skelton dropped out only one week before the fight due to injury, Danny Williams replaced him.

Williams had trained 8 weeks for a fight with British champion Scott Gammer. This time Harrison fought far more aggressively, decking Williams twice and winning on a third round knockout. Williams suffered a broken nose and severe lacerations, and Harrison was once again lauded as a contender for a World title. Following the victory over Williams, Harrison signed a promotional deal with Frank Warren, whose aim was to get Harrison a World title fight in 2007.

On 17 February 2007, Harrison was knocked out by Michael Sprott for the European Union title. This third professional loss left Harrison's future uncertain. Harrison claimed that he could make a comeback, but comments Warren suggested that any return to the ring would be for a reduced purse, since the public would have no great interest.

Harrison returned to fight Paul King for a bout scheduled for 29 September 2007 in Sheffield. However, he and his coach Kelvyn Travis were involved in a car accident on 21 September 2007 in the United States, and Harrison suffered injuries that caused the fight to be cancelled.

Harrison had also suggested that a deal would be announced involving promoter Dennis Hobson, but the cancellation of the fight meant that a formal announcement was on hold. Harrison underwent surgery for his injuries,and returned on 19 April 2008, beating the American Jason Barnett in the fifth round on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins/Joe Calzaghe fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. This bout was the first of a new multi-bout agreement between Harrison and Warren, which aimed to get Harrison a World title shot in 2009.

After proposed matches with Samuel Peter and Martin Rogan fell through, on 6 September 2008 Harrison gained what the BBC described as "an unconvincing victory" over George Arias at the MEN Arena in Manchester. The fight was overshadowed by Amir Khan's first defeat later on the same card. On 6 December 2008, Harrison's career seemed all but over as he was defeated by the winner of the first Prizefighter tournament and Belfast taxi driver, Martin Rogan. The referee scored the contest 96-95 in favour of the Irishman.

Comeback
Harrison signed for the Prizefighter tournament which was an eight-man, one-night knockout tournament that took place at ExCeL London on 2 October 2009. On 1 October 2009, he weighed in for Prizefighter at 18 stones and half a pound. He went on to win the tournament, by way of second round knock-out against Coleman Barrett. Before that he had knocked out Scott Belshaw and won a unanimous decision over Danny Hughes. Following his success in the Prizefighter tournament, it was announced on 15 January 2010 that Harrison would face Albert Sosnowski for the European Boxing Union heavyweight title, with the fight set for 9 April 2010. However Sosnowski called the bout off for a shot at Vitali Klitschko's WBC title.

On 9 April 2010, Harrison won the vacant EBU belt against old foe Michael Sprott at Alexandra Palace. He knocked out Sprott in the final round despite being behind on all three judges scorecards. Harrison claimed he sustained a shoulder injury early in the fight and had to carry on single-handed. BBC Sport said of the fight: "Having come within seconds of a defeat that would have made a mockery of pre-fight assertions that he could face one of the Klitschko brothers for a World title, Harrison said: 'I had to win it somehow."

After his victory over Sprott, Jeff Powell from the Daily Mail said "He showed bravery of such a high and unexpected order that he finally backed his claims to a World title".

On 24 April 2010, Harrison underwent surgery in Cheadle, Greater Manchester to repair the torn Pectoralis major muscle. The surgeon said he expects Audley to make a "full recovery in about 12 to 16 weeks".

On 8 June 2010, Harrison vacated his European title, announcing his intention of getting a World title shot. He began negotiations with Hayemaker Promotions soon after, which culminated in a World-title fight scheduled to take place in the MEN Arena against WBA champion David Haye on 13 November 2010.

Nicknames
His self-styled nickname is "A-Force." After turning professional, Harrison's career path disappointed a number of commentators, who nicknamed him "Fraudley", "Audrey" and "A-Farce".